13 April 2018 – Expansión
The Swiss fund Stoneweg is finalising the sale of a batch of three large residential developments located in Cataluña and Madrid, which have sparked interest from several international funds and a handful of property developers. The three developments, which contain more than 300 homes, are worth around €200 million.
They are the three largest developments of the almost thirty residential projects that Stoneweg is promoting in Spain through its subsidiary Stoneweg Living. Two of them are located in Cataluña and one in Madrid and, although in theory, they were designed to be sold, on an individual basis, to end users, the significant interest that the Spanish residential sector has sparked amongst investors has led to a change of plan.
In this way, Stoneweg has combined its three largest developments and is going to sell them as a single lot, with the idea that the buyer will incorporate them into its real estate portfolio and put them on the rental market. Although several overseas investors have expressed their interest in the package, the most advanced negotiations are the ones being held with a German institutional fund, according to sources speaking to Expansión.
Stoneweg was created in 2015 by the former team of the real estate division of the private bank Edmond de Rothschild and by the founding partners of CBRE in Switzerland. It is chaired by the former President of the Executive Committee of Edmond de Rothschild, Claude Messulam, and two Spaniards sit on the management board: Jaume Sabater, as the CEO and Joaquín Castellví, as the Director of Investments and Acquisitions. Since 2015, it has invested more than €500 million in the promotion of offices and residential buildings in Spain. Recently, it moved its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid and expanded its offices in the Spanish capital to make space for its growing workforce.
The sale of this package of more than 300 homes is another example of the interest that the residential rental market is sparking in Spain. This business, which has just a few strong operators, is gaining strength in the capital. The professional rental home market in Spain is very fragmented. Testa owns a portfolio of 10,700 homes and is preparing its stock market debut. Another player is the manager Azora, which is also preparing its debut on the stock market, and Fidere – Blackstone’s Socimi – which made its stock market debut in 2015 with 2,688 social housing properties purchased during the crisis.
Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés and Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake